aiSTROM - A roadmap for developing a successful AI strategy

TitleaiSTROM - A roadmap for developing a successful AI strategy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHerremans D
JournalIEEE Access

A total of 34% of AI research and development projects fail or are abandoned, according to a recent survey by Rackspace Technology of 1,870 companies. In this perspective paper, a new STrategic ROadMap, aiSTROM, is presented that empowers managers to create an AI strategy. A comprehensive approach is provided that guides managers and lead developers through the various challenges in the implementation process. In the aiSTROM framework, the top $n$ potential projects (typically 3-5) are first identified. For each of those, seven areas of focus are thoroughly analysed. These areas include creating a data strategy that takes into account unique cross-departmental machine learning data requirements, security, and legal requirements. aiSTROM then guides managers to think about how to put together an interdisciplinary artificial intelligence (AI) implementation team given the scarcity of AI talent. Once an AI team strategy has been established, it needs to be positioned within the organization, either cross-departmental or as a separate division. Other considerations include AI as a service (AIaas) and outsourcing development. Looking at new technologies, one has to consider challenges such as bias, the legality of black-box models, and keeping humans in the loop. Next, like any project, value-based key performance indicators (KPIs) need to be defined to track and validate the progress. Depending on the company's risk strategy, a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) can help further classify the shortlisted projects. Finally, one should make sure that the strategy includes continuous education of employees to enable a culture of adoption. This unique and comprehensive framework offers a practical tool for managers and lead developers.